#Jealous? New report shows Canadian millennials are living large due to FOMO

Report shows an increased number of young adults positively express jealousy and envy

TORONTO, March 9, 2015 /CNW/ - A new phenomenon seems to be sweeping social media platforms and has become a driving force behind how Millennials make their purchasing decisions. Commonly referred to as FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, a new report commissioned by Citizen Relations focuses on the cultural shift Canadians are seeing among adults aged 18 to 30 and in particular, the impact that social media is having on purchasing decisions. This phenomenon has also started to span generations, across genders, relationship status and income level.

In fact, nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of Canadians admit to experiencing FOMO, with people between ages 18 and 30 in particular feeling the desire to 'live large' inspired by their networks (56 per cent). The combination of real time access to peers' experiences in a visual context and the desire to not be left behind is the driving force for this age group to crave these same experiences, from parties and events to trips and vacations. Specifically, almost one quarter (24 per cent) of Millennials fear a loss of social recognition or not being seen as 'in the know' among their peers should they miss out on key events or having to make a choice to attend another. Among the younger generation, trips (59 per cent), parties/events (56 per cent) and food (29 per cent) are the leading drivers of FOMO. As a result of this FOMO, sixty eight per cent of Millennials will make a reactive purchase, often within 24 hours of the emotional experience.  

"It's no secret social media plays a significant role in the lives of Canadians but now, with this in depth look at the various influences, we discovered how they affect purchasing decisions," says Nick Cowling, General Manager, Citizen Relations Canada. "The findings in this report provide intel as to how companies can better utilize their social platforms to influence audiences and better understand how, and when, to engage with them."

Though spending is consistently linked to the FOMO trend, the more you can afford, the more likely you are to experience FOMO. While it may seem counter-intuitive, the study found that higher income levels (HHI of $75-100K, $100-150K and $150K+) are the groups most likely to spend reactively due to FOMO. Additionally, Canadians with higher incomes are more likely to share experiences on social media with the intent of creating FOMO in others.

Much like the immediacy of social media, the emotional impact that FOMO elicits can be strong and all encompassing. The top emotions reported associated with FOMO are envy (39 per cent), jealousy (30 per cent), happiness (29 per cent), and sadness and disappointment (21 per cent). This might sound like an emotional roller coaster, but Citizen's FOMO Report also uncovered that this phenomenon is causing Millennials to adopt a new, more positive interpretation of envy and jealousy as they are more open to admit these feelings and see them as inspiring and motivating to result in a positive action.

While Millennials use FOMO as a way to fuel their spending when it comes to travelling and entertainment, parents are increasingly using FOMO to crowd source their decision making. "Parents are always short on time and have more people to consider when scheduling their lives," explains Cowling. "The study tells us parents are using FOMO to research experiences and products. When they see a great experience or something that benefits a family in their network, it provides them with confidence it will do the same for their own family."

For these reasons, Canadians with children are more likely to link consideration and purchase intent, and feel a positive association with FOMO because it drives them to act in a way that helps their family.

While it may seem like a funny term, FOMO doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon, and if one thing is certain, the phenomenon is driving purchase and reputation.  "FOMO should be a consideration for every company that wants to be a part of their customers' digital lives," says Cowling. "By helping them find experiences, share them with others and inspire their networks to connect physically, can be a powerful opportunity to connect in a meaningful and lucrative way"

Citizen Relations Canada is the Canadian arm of Citizen Relations, an international PR agency recently named 2012 midsize agency of the year in North America by The Holmes Report. Formed from the union of four successful agencies in the UK and North America, along with strategic partners in Asia and Latin America, Citizen Relations offers strategic PR advice and counsel to industry leading brands, corporations, governments and not-for-profit organizations, designed to contribute to the business success of clients through effective and innovative communications.

In Fall 2014, Citizen Relations commissioned a survey of 1200 Canadians equally distributed across the 4 major regions of Canada (West, Ontario, Quebec and East) to uncover the key insights and driving behaviours behind FOMO ("Fear Of Missing Out") and the margin of error is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. Focus groups with Millennials were conducted in Early 2015 to further test the insights and findings.

SOURCE Citizen Relations

Video with caption: "Citizen's new FOMO report reveals the inside scoop to Millenial's take on #FOMO - how it makes them feel, how it impacts purchasing decisions and what it means to this generation". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20150309_C7459_VIDEO_EN_12935.mp4&posterurl=http%3A%2F%2Fphotos.newswire.ca%2Fimages%2F20150309_C7459_VIDEO_EN_12935.jpg&order=1&jdd=20150309&cnum=C7459

For further information: Media contact: Nicole Brightling, 647 680 8575, Nicole.brightling@citizenrelations.com


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